Clubfitting 101: A Lifeline for Clubfitting
I now return to the only two major and direct ways of fitting golf clubs to golfers: golf ball travel and swing performance. With just two approaches to examine at the start, various side-by-side comparisons can be more easily made and explained. I have no current plans to offer any aiding illustrations in the totally free version(s) of my work, so begin by intellectually visualizing a single straight line. Established at one end of this line is the proposition of fitting golf clubs to golfers based exclusively on golf ball travel, to the total exclusion of all other golfing factors. Founded at the other end is the proposal of fitting clubs to players based solely on golf swing performance, again to the absolute exclusion of all else. These designations at each end can be treated as the two extreme possibilities of trying to fit clubs in a sound, effective manner, with an infinite number of locations possible in between.
Next, a point representing any chosen golf club specification is placed somewhere along the line, its position selected to signify where one believes the specification belongs in the course of fitting golf clubs relative to the two noted extremes. This clubfitting “tool” has an extremely limited but a truly profound purpose. As you will come to see, the two “opposing” methods of fitting clubs are so unlike, comprising such dissimilar properties and priorities when evaluating them independently during the fitting of clubs, that they cannot really be placed along the same line for any other scientific fitting purpose. Thus, the Lifeline of Clubfitting as it shall be named is a simple, restricted, yet highly effective fundamental exercise disclosed expressly for appraising or planning one’s comprehensive approach to clubfitting. This very basic but powerful lifeline can help guide one toward analyzing, understanding, revealing and/or choosing how one strategizes the art/science of fitting clubs. The thought of being able to competently implement data and/or devices connected with launch monitoring, shaft profiling, swingweighting, and much more into clubfitting is all good and fine. But a far, far more important characteristic, one firmly in place before any of the mentioned skills are even attempted, is where a clubfitter ranks on the Lifeline of Clubfitting. This can be the most crucial and decisive predictor of how well clubs will be fit to a golfer.
Depending upon exactly what information one wants to investigate, a separate Lifeline of Clubfitting may be formed solely for each club specification. All club specifications can also be plotted along a single line to give an overall indication of whether golf ball travel or swing performance is favored more by one or considered more significant during the fitting of clubs. The results can really be enlightening. Each of you can plot where your particular emphasis rests regarding the fitting of each golf club specification. Do not be too alarmed at the start if you are quite surprised, confused and/or do not like what you see, because a large segment of the Lifeline of Clubfitting is presently inaccessible when basing one’s efforts on the clubfitting theories and practices of the past. If every current (and past) “certified, professional, advanced (or the like)” clubfitter as defined by those who award such titles and every current and past teacher of clubfitting were to complete a Lifeline of Clubfitting and the results comprehensively analyzed, rather conclusive proof would be discoverable regarding why golf scores have not acceptably improved of late. Scores will not improve at a better rate until a major overhaul in clubfitting theory and practice is realized within the golf industry. Waggle Weight Wisdom will lead the way.
One can make an attempt to fit most any golf club specification at either extreme end of a Lifeline of Clubfitting line (an alternate term might be a Continuum of Clubfitting line), so anything goes for now with respect to plotting one’s individual clubfitting priorities. If determining that one places an equal importance toward each side of the extreme fitting possibilities when fitting any given golf club specification or that one fully tries to fit the specification based equally on golf ball travel and swing performance, then a sole point should be placed at the center of the line. The usefulness of a Continuum of Clubfitting will be appreciated more later. But take note now of how the grip-on-a-stick technique of fitting golf grip size lies nowhere along this line and as a result should be considered predominantly irrelevant as an efficient and accurate clubfitting process. This will be further supported as I continue. The same can be said of fitting club length by using a clubfitting ruler that I recently discussed. The most effective golf club fitting will always lie somewhere along the Lifeline of Clubfitting, but perhaps not exactly where you are envisioning it should be right now to achieve the best success. At least until one has a satisfactory understanding of fitting at both extremes, his or her Continuum of Clubfitting results should not be judged too harshly. Next, I will consider each of the two extreme clubfitting prospects as stand-alone methods.